Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Level II Practical Pistol Pistol Class - Patriot Shooting Academy


Zoomie517
 Share

Recommended Posts

Long post - Run away now or grab you a sleeping bag and sandwich. 
 

Good morning, everyone. As a new shooter (will shoot my first match the first week of July) I thought Id share my perspective of attending a Practical Pistol class, for any other new folks that are trying to decide if they just want to jump in to competition or develop some familiarity and foundation first. 
 

WHY TAKE A CLASS ?

 

We have some great guys here at our local events. I attended our last event here and watched 5 new shooters participate with no DQ's and a single Procedural. Everyone there busted their cans to help the new guys. 

As an older guy (56), so much of the sport is overwhelming. In my case, I wanted an intro class or some kind of foundation. Something to teach me what to practice. To understand fundamentals of drawing, sight picture, body ergonomics, target acquisition, flow, etc. 

I spoke with Gilbert Perez at Patriot Shooting Academy in Dandridge, Tennessee. After explaining what I was looking for, Gilbert invited me to join his Level II Practical Pistol Class, in spite of my lack of experience. He explained that the class would briefly cover fundamentals before spending the entire day working on drills to shoot accurately at higher speeds. He said that he assesses each shooter and works with them at their respective level. He assured me that I would not slow or hinder the class in any way. 

I was told to bring 1000 rounds. Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, we shot over 1000 rounds. Both my hands still hurt. 

Gilbert keeps his classes small in order to ensure that people get the most out of each class. I was exceptionally fortunate as a group of people cancelled, expressing concern over the weather. That left 3 of us. A B shooter knocking on Master, if not already there. An older guy (76 year old C shooter that will be a B the second he makes a decision to do so, and a stone cold newb (me).

 

We started on the 3 yard line with a simple drill. At the beep, draw and put 2 in the Alpha. After a single draw by me, Gilbert started making suggestions for change. Lots of body mechanics stuff. Improvement for me was drastic and immediate. While my early draws took so long that my wife could have gone to get her hair, done, they continued to improve throughout the day. Yes, I am still slower than the speed of small, but about 4 times faster than when I got there. Most importantly, I know my faults and weaknesses, and know exactly what to watch for and work on during dry fire practice at home. Interestingly, my two partners in crime also noted significant time improvements. 

One thing that became a theme throughout the day was that Gilbert would push everyone past the point of accurate shooting. He'd push and push until accuracy went to heck, then bring the shooter back to the ragged edge of their respective skill-set. Once there, he would tell the shooter what it would take to take for the shooter to improve.

As the day progressed, things became far more difficult. Drills got complex. Specific target order was assigned to shore up different aspects of flow. And they were assigned in an order that no sane person would ever choose to shoot a stage. It was brutal. It was also an absolute blast.

Throughout these drills, I received constant feedback. Gilbert is a no nonsense guy. He demands your best at all times. He's the first to cheer you on when he sees the slightest bit of improvement. He's also the first guy to shine his shoe on your butt when you blow it. It created some pressure and duress to do my very best for every single shot fired. It made me hungry...….really hungry to learn and improve. My favorite quote of the day ...….
 

Gilbert - "John, what the hell was THAT?"
Me - " That was a s#!t show and then it got worse."
Gilbert (laughing) - " I agree with your assessment.Now FOCUS!"

Things addressed and taught throughout the day (and this is just the stuff that seemed critical to me) Draw mechanics, sighting and target acquisition, magazine changes, cadence, fluidity, visualization, driving the gun, respecting those targets at distance, stage planning evaluation based on your own personal skill set, and a myriad of other tidbits. 

WHAT DID I PERSONALLY LEARN ?

That my draw mechanics are horrible. I keep the gun way too tight to my body and don't aggressively punch out. My draw speed should be consistently fast (for me) regardless of my planned cadence to shoot each target accurately. 

I have the icky (technical term) habit of yanking and poking while pulling the trigger. Some of this is attributable to an after-market trigger that does not suit me at all. It was beyond horrid. I tried another guys 34 and the trigger was incredible ! Dropping my gun off at DK Customs today will mean a world of difference to clean up this mess. 

I learned my own personal shot cadence. I actually matched it to a song tempo (AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie). When I sing the song to myself prior to a stage or drill, I do some of my best fluid shooting. If I speed up, I might as well throw the gun at the target. This was a huge learning moment for me.

 

In spite of being in the gym six days a week, the mag release on my 34 gen 5, is a nightmare. I cannot timely hit the release without significantly altering my grip. I have to find a resolution for this because it's killing me. 

 

In spite of the above, I love the 34. after a 1000 rounds plus, we have bonded. 

Oh and my DPP lasted 1500 rounds which pisses me off. It now turns off after ten 10 seconds no matter what you do. This thing costs way too much money to pee the bed this early in its life. I was shooting 900 fps loads,, not +P's. Get it together Leupold. 

I have taken a number of firearms related courses and classes throughout my life. This was easily the best course I have ever taken. I cannot recall working harder, nor learning so much in any other class. It was beyond invaluable. Yes, I am still a slooooooooow hack at best. But I know WHY and most importantly, what I need to work on to improve.

I am no longer nervous about my first match. I will walk it. Will focus on SAFETY and applying what I learned. I will still suck, but I will suck with confidence and I will have fun! 

 

WOOOOOOOO!




 

Edited by Zoomie517
spelling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After taking two naps reading your posting, I finally got through it.     😇

 

I don't see ANY reference to PSA working on your GRIP - that's a

Vital thing to learn, especially if you want to hit targets at speed.

 

I have taken two similar courses, by nationally renowned shootists,

and they NEVER gave any advice on my grip (which I have since

learned is terrible).

 

I wish they had spent the first half hour working on a better grip

before starting the rest of the advice, which was all good advice.

 

Did I miss that in any of the first chapters of your story ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Zoomie517 said:

As a new shooter (will shoot my first match the first week of July)...

 

1 hour ago, Zoomie517 said:

..Something to teach me what to practice...

 

For the other novices reading this, just know that a lot of us didn’t have this mindset and you do not necessarily have to. Thinking about shooting USPSA? Just go. Go to a match! Don’t let any worry about practice or being good hold you back.

 

Everyone there remembers how horrid they were the very first time. We’ll help you out! :D 

 

1 hour ago, Zoomie517 said:

Iwas told to bring 1000 rounds. Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, we shot over 1000 rounds. Both my hands still hurt. 

 

This mindset will change remarkably by the end of the year. Competition is hard on your ammo budget and this is why all of us reload. It isn’t uncommon to burn through 500+ rounds in a practice session at the range by yourself.

 

My last advanced competition class was 3,800 rounds in three days.

 

1 hour ago, Zoomie517 said:

I tried another guys 34 and the trigger was incredible ! Dropping my gun off at DK Customs today will mean a world of difference to clean up this mess. 

 

Skip the widgets. A minus connector, then polish the internals, add sights, grip tape, 13lb recoil spring, and a lighter striker spring. Done.

 

Almost every M/GM glock shooter I know uses this recipe, and there’s a reason IMO.

 

Don’t buy toys.

Practice a lot with a stock-ish gun.

 

1 hour ago, Zoomie517 said:

I learned my own personal shot cadence. I actually matched it to a song tempo (AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie).

 

That’ll work for now. Stick with it if it keeps you from shooting shot #2 without a sight picture and a proper trigger press. But don’t fall into the trap of firing on that cadence no matter what. If your sights aren’t aligned, disregard your tempo trick and fix them. Then resume.

 

In the future your cadence on different targets will vary: watch the veteran shooters. you’ll learn to rip two into a close open target, then how to take the required time to ensure two quality hits on a 15+ yd headshot target from watching them.

 

1 hour ago, Zoomie517 said:

I cannot timely hit the release without significantly altering my grip. I have to find a resolution for this because it's killing me. 

 

Either learn to flip the gun in your hand to reach the button, or install an extended one: all aftermarket super big releases are now legal in carry optics and production. Install whatever aftermarket triggers and slide releases and mag buttons you like.

 

1 hour ago, Zoomie517 said:

NOW EDITING GRAMMER.

 

Grammar. 🙄😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

After taking two naps reading your posting, I finally got through it.     😇

 

I don't see ANY reference to PSA working on your GRIP - that's a

Vital thing to learn, especially if you want to hit targets at speed.

 

I have taken two similar courses, by nationally renowned shootists,

and they NEVER gave any advice on my grip (which I have since

learned is terrible).

 

I wish they had spent the first half hour working on a better grip

before starting the rest of the advice, which was all good advice.

 

Did I miss that in any of the first chapters of your story ?

 

Sorry. Yes, we spent a ton of time talking about grip. I had weak hand problems all day. And when weak hand was right, I was busy getting bit by the slide.......3 different times. I’ll have a lovely scar to remind me about the importance of grip. 

 

Sorry about the post length. I’ll be more succinct go-forward. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, MemphisMechanic said:

 

 

For the other novices reading this, just know that a lot of us didn’t have this mindset and you do not necessarily have to. Thinking about shooting USPSA? Just go. Go to a match! Don’t let any worry about practice or being good hold you back.

 

Everyone there remembers how horrid they were the very first time. We’ll help you out! :D 

 

 

This mindset will change remarkably by the end of the year. Competition is hard on your ammo budget and this is why all of us reload. It isn’t uncommon to burn through 500+ rounds in a practice session at the range by yourself.

 

My last advanced competition class was 3,800 rounds in three days.

 

 

Skip the widgets. A minus connector, then polish the internals, add sights, grip tape, 13lb recoil spring, and a lighter striker spring. Done.

 

Almost every M/GM glock shooter I know uses this recipe, and there’s a reason IMO.

 

Don’t buy toys.

Practice a lot with a stock-ish gun.

 

 

That’ll work for now. Stick with it if it keeps you from shooting shot #2 without a sight picture and a proper trigger press. But don’t fall into the trap of firing on that cadence no matter what. If your sights aren’t aligned, disregard your tempo trick and fix them. Then resume.

 

In the future your cadence on different targets will vary: watch the veteran shooters. you’ll learn to rip two into a close open target, then how to take the required time to ensure two quality hits on a 15+ yd headshot target from watching them.

 

 

Either learn to flip the gun in your hand to reach the button, or install an extended one: all aftermarket super big releases are now legal in carry optics and production. Install whatever aftermarket triggers and slide releases and mag buttons you like.

 

 

Grammar. 🙄😂

Lot's of good info and advice here. Especially the just go to a match part. The only thing I would add is that if you are really really new to handguns and a little timid to just jump in with both feet, by all means go and watch a match first to see what it's all about. You certainly don't have to but it can open your eyes as to what to expect. Then maybe glance over the rules about safety issues and the COF, etc. Agree for the most part that we are all willing to help new shooters get through there first matches. I don't know what the class cost you but the info in this thread is free and will serve you well until you really start getting into the game. Then you can take some classes from one of the many GM's who put on clinics to really step up your game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, MemphisMechanic said:

 

 

For the other novices reading this, just know that a lot of us didn’t have this mindset and you do not necessarily have to. Thinking about shooting USPSA? Just go. Go to a match! Don’t let any worry about practice or being good hold you back.

 

Everyone there remembers how horrid they were the very first time. We’ll help you out! :D 

 

 

This mindset will change remarkably by the end of the year. Competition is hard on your ammo budget and this is why all of us reload. It isn’t uncommon to burn through 500+ rounds in a practice session at the range by yourself.

 

My last advanced competition class was 3,800 rounds in three days.

 

 

Skip the widgets. A minus connector, then polish the internals, add sights, grip tape, 13lb recoil spring, and a lighter striker spring. Done.

 

Almost every M/GM glock shooter I know uses this recipe, and there’s a reason IMO.

 

Don’t buy toys.

Practice a lot with a stock-ish gun.

 

 

That’ll work for now. Stick with it if it keeps you from shooting shot #2 without a sight picture and a proper trigger press. But don’t fall into the trap of firing on that cadence no matter what. If your sights aren’t aligned, disregard your tempo trick and fix them. Then resume.

 

In the future your cadence on different targets will vary: watch the veteran shooters. you’ll learn to rip two into a close open target, then how to take the required time to ensure two quality hits on a 15+ yd headshot target from watching them.

 

 

Either learn to flip the gun in your hand to reach the button, or install an extended one: all aftermarket super big releases are now legal in carry optics and production. Install whatever aftermarket triggers and slide releases and mag buttons you like.

 

 

Grammar. 🙄😂

 

Thank you for the responses. 

 

I did not mean to imply that a class was necessary. Just because it was important to me doesn’t mean it matters to anyone else. I attempted to convey that when I talked about the support the five new shooters received at our local match. They all did great! 

 

 

I understand about cadence. We did do a drill where we had near, medium and far targets. And yes cadence did change. 

 

I donUnderstand that you must have a sight picture prior to pulling the trigger. Because of the order of targets, the drill showed me how to drive the gun by swinging more quickly to set up for the next target, to maintain cadence. 

 

As for ‘grammer’ , I never should have post d this without sucking down my second cup of coffee. 😂

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...